Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hoosier Boil

Since we are mostly empty nesters now, we are thinking of vacationing when (hopefully) a lot of other people are not - September.  We went to Cape Cod last September and had an absolute blast.  Sure, it was a little too cold to go swimming but we really didn't care about that.  Kathy and I spent an afternoon on the beach, absorbing some rays through our sweaters and letting the sound of the waves carry us away to a virtual place of peace and relaxation.

This year, John and I are thinking coastal again, but to the south.  Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia sound like pretty interesting places and both look very promising in one important factor in all our vacation choices - food.

We've been researching the food in the part of the country almost as much as where to stay and what sights to see.  We discovered Low-Country Boil or Frogmore Stew.  Like any recipe that has been around a long time and is meant to feed a large number of people, the variations to this dish are endless.  But we found one that looked pretty darn easy and tried it a couple nights ago.  Thank you Trisha Yearwood.

We'll see if we make it to the Low-Country or if we end up somewhere else.  We're still contemplating.

But while I was making this stew the other night, it occurred to me that my mother used to make something very similar back in the day, when I was growing up in Indiana.  I think she made it mostly on Mondays (wash day) when she didn't have time to put much effort into dinner.  I always liked it and it became a comfort food for me over the years.  It's very easy and one thing I could make when John and I were first married.  My Chicago boy looked at me like I had 2 heads the first (and only) time I prepared it for our dinner.  That recipe was quickly filed under "Make only when John is out of town."  Later, the kids liked it or at least tolerated it for my sake.  So here is my Midwestern answer to Frogmore Stew--

Hoosier Boil

Potatoes (whatever kind you have, cut into chunks if they are large)
carrots, cut into chunks or baby carrots
onions, cut into chunks
green beans
smoked sausage (The real thing with all the fat.  None of that turkey stuff - what are you, nuts??)
garlic powder or salt

Throw the potatoes, carrots and onions in a pot with just enough water to cover the vegetables, cover and boil until everything is almost done and tender.  Add the green beans and sausage and simmer until everything is tender.

There you have the gist of it.  The quantities of the ingredients can be whatever you like.  Add other veggies and spices if the mood strikes you or if you have anything sitting in the fridge that would work.  (After making Low-Country Boil, I'm going to add corn on the cob pieces next time.  Everything from Indiana needs to include corn.)  I always smash up the potatoes and spoon some of the broth on them.  It adds a little of the smokey sausage flavor.

It is nothing fancy and it's pretty basic, but isn't that the way with most comfort food?

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